Adjustable Prosthetic Pylon

Nonspec’s solution Adjustable Prosthetic Pylon is designed to provide artificial limbs for amputees. It is developed with adjustment in mind to provide one system that can be adapted to users with a wide range of heights. It is a simple prosthetic that allows a minimally-trained technician to fit an amputee in under an hour. The product adjusts in height and angle to adapt with the user allowing them greater flexibility. It offers a limb at 1/10th the cost of current prosthetic limbs while ensuring high quality and amputee satisfaction. Adjustable Prosthetic Pylon is manufactured by Nonspec which was founded in the United States of America in 2014. The enterprise envisages providing affordable medical devices across developing regions in India, Rwanda, Philippines.

The product is of low maintenance, easy to clean and allows day-to-day comfort adjustments at home. The minimal hardware used in fitting is available in any hardware shop around the world. Local teams are hired to help support the deployment, follow-ups, and adoption of the technology. In addition to this, the product is designed to fit within the current clinical flow. It is in harmony with all prosthetic equipment in the market suiting the needs of a variety of users.

Over three million below-knee amputations occur annually. Due to financial constraints and lack of insurance, less than 10% of these amputees in developing regions have access to a prosthetic limb. Even simple devices without dynamic features are expensive, resulting in amputees settling for an ill-fitting device, or going without one at all. This causes serious health and mobility concerns for the amputees since there is a 50%, five-year mortality rate for amputees who remain sedentary.

The target customers for the prosthetic are clinicians, specifically in developing countries who are attempting to improve their clinic's reputation, increase their patient reach, and reduce their own costs. These amputees are low-to-middle income amputees who can't afford high-cost limbs. This population is most commonly very active 20-somethings or over the age of 60, and often diabetes patients. Adjustable Prosthetic Pylon is a lightweight and comfortable prosthetic that facilitates the use of limbs. It increases amputees’ physical activity tenfold compared to their previous prosthetic devices. Many users have managed to get back to playing their favourite sport and returned to their jobs. Nonspec has delivered 70 limbs in India, 30 in the Philippines and 12 in Rwanda, with over 200 clinics across the two countries participating in the development of this limb.

Nonspec is a for-profit early stage social venture that works directly with customers in the countries they operate. It provides a wide range of components from a single source to improved availability and decrease in the clinician’s training, fitting and adjustment time. The business uses a decentralized distribution and assembly model. Components are designed by the US team and are made in China. Thereafter, they are sent to the field operations in India and the Philippines. The field teams operate on a franchise model with teams working autonomously to grow and develop their markets.

It is financially affordable to over 80% of the world's amputees, opening access to at least one million patients a year. The product can be manufactured in any location with basic job-shop resources. Manufacturing locally will reduce material and shipping costs as well as provide other economic benefits. The enterprise aims to manufacture in each of the main regions deployed in order to take advantage of these benefits.

  • The solution requires a small amount of training to be delivered to prosthetic clinics and charities around the world who deploy the product.
  • It offers a one-year manufacturing warranty on products and provides clinical support from the local teams.
  • It is made of recyclable materials and reduces the amount of scrap created with every prosthetic device bringing a positive effect on the environment.
  • They also strive to ethically source the materials and use recycled materials where possible.

Key Facts

Organization: Nonspec
Contact: Erin Keaney
Operating in: India, Rwanda, Philippines